Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

A couple of weeks ago I decided I'd get Brad's bread machine (collective gasp goes up around the baking world - how dare she?!) out of the garage. Hey, this is helping me work my way out of my fear of yeast breads, okay? Please don't beat me.

When we got the machine out,
Elizabeth and I stirred up a sourdough starter and we've used it several times to make dough (which then got shaped and baked off in the oven - we've made sourdough French bread a couple of times - and the leftovers were used for French toast breakfast the next morning). Friday evening I made the dough for the Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Elizabeth has been asking for since we made the starter. While I was nursing Harrison, Brad mixed up the filling for the cinnamon rolls (I'm so thankful I have a husband who will help like that) and I made the cinnamon rolls after I got BabyMan in bed. Elizabeth was thrilled to have cinnamon rolls Saturday morning for breakfast. I wish I had photos but I was at the office when they went into and came out of the oven. What follows are the recipes for the starter and the rolls. Both are from Better Homes & Gardens.

Sourdough Starter
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
3 cups warm water (105° to 115°F)
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons granulated sugar or brown sugar

To make starter: Dissolve yeast in the 3/4 cup warm water. Add the 3 cups warm water; stir in flour and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium spead just until smooth. Cover with 100% cotton cheesecloth. Let stand at room temperature (75° to 85°F) for 5 to 10 days or until mixture has a sour, fermented aroma, stirring 2 or 3 times a day [or, if you're like me, whenever you remember "Oh yeah, I have some starter over there in the corner"]. A warmer rooms speeds the process. When the starter has fermented, transfer it to a 2-quart or larger plastic container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate.

To use starter: Stir starter thoroughly after removing it from the refrigerator. Measure amount needed; bring to room temperature. The cold starter should be the consistency of buttermilk or thin pancake batter. If necessary, add water to thin the starter after it is stirred and before measuring.

For each cup of starter used, replenish remaining starter by stirring in 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon granulated or brown sugar. Cover; let mixture stand at room temperature for at least 1 day or until bubbly. Refrigerate. If not used within 10 days, stir in 1 teaspoon granulated or brown sugar. Repeat every 10 days unless starter is replenished.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
(this is for a 2-pound capacity machine)
1 1/3 cups Sourdough Starter
1/3 cup water
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2/3 cup chopped pecans (I'll leave these out next time due to a child's preference)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup whipping cream
Powdered Sugar Glaze (optional)

Add the first 8 ingredients to the machine accordin to the manufacturer's directions (for example, mine - as most do - have you add the salt with the liquid and the yeast with the flour - but the salt and yeast need to stay separate, initially). Select the dough cycle. When the cycle is complete, remove dough from machine. Punch down, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the filling, in a small mixing bowl stir together the pecans, sugars and cinnamon.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18 x 12-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Fill and roll, starting from a long side, seal edge. Cut into 18 slices; place cut side down in 2 greased 8x8x2-inch baking pans or 9x1 1/2-inch round baking pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 30 minutes or until nearly doubled. Drizzle whipping creamover rolls. Bake rolls in a 375° F oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan about 5 minutes, invert onto a wire rack. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze, if desired.

Powdered Sugar Glaze
In a small mixing bowl stir together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in enough milk (1 to 2 tablespoons should be plenty) to make a glaze of drizzling consistency.

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